There are nearly 3,000 homeless children in Ireland
The star of comedy TV series Moone Boy has teamed up with Focus Ireland to highlight the effect of the ongoing homelessness crisis on children.
In a new video, 16-year-old actor David Rawle warns that thousands of children are being denied their basic rights 25 years after Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
There are nearly 3,000 homeless children in Ireland according to the latest government figures.
Over 1,800 of these leave school every day with no home to return to.
In the video, Rawle notes some of the basic rights that are being denied to these children including:
Speaking as the video was launched online; Rawle said “I was happy to be involved with Focus Ireland on this video as it is terrible to think that so many young children and also teens my age are homeless.”
“I hope this helps to bring more attention to the issue as no child should be homeless in Ireland today.”
The video ends with Rawle calling for action in front of Government buildings in Dublin.
“These rights are so important as they have set down international markers to help protect children & young people,” he says.
“But there are now nearly 3,000 children homeless in Ireland who are being denied a proper childhood.
"We want Ireland to take action so that every child has a right to be just that - the right to be a child.
“We need this right today, not tomorrow, for it is today that we are children.”
Focus Ireland warned that homelessness has a “very harsh impact on children and young people” adding that it can “damage their education, confidence and also their physical and mental health.”
“We were delighted that David took part in our video as he is the same age as many of the teenagers who are homeless or at risk right across Ireland,” said Focus Ireland advocacy manager Roughan MacNamara.
“It is very positive for them to see someone their own age leading a call for action and standing alongside them.”
He said it is “fundamentally wrong” that nearly 3,000 children are homeless.
“There is good work being done by the State, Local authorities and NGO’s such as Focus Ireland and without this the current crisis would be much worse,” he said.
“However, much more needs to be done to keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place.”
Rawle previously teamed up with Focus Ireland in a short film featuring a range of famous faces including former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and rugby star Rob Kearney.